Train Accidents

Railroad Accident Attorney

There are various types of trains in use today. These include freight trains (transport goods, materials, cargo, and chemicals), high speed trains (Amtrak), inter-city trains, commuter trains/regional trains (bring workers to and from work), rapid transit (metro or subway), and light rail (trolley or street cars).

More than 654 million passengers rode more than 20 billion miles in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration. There were more than 11,000 railroad accidents/railroad incidents. Almost 700 ended in fatalities and deaths, while more than 8,000 train accident victims sustained injuries. There were 21 employee on duty deaths and 410 trespasser deaths. Unfortunately, many accidents involve children under the age of 16 years of age.

Passenger train accidents can occur when getting on or off standing trains, stumbling aboard trains, assaults on a train, train accidents, crossing incidents, trespassing on railroad property, etc.

Railroad accidents are often caused by:

  • Two trains colliding
  • Collision with a car, truck, bus, or pedestrian
  • Train derailment
  • Distracted train operator, distracted train conductor
  • Fatigued train operator
  • Poor maintenance of tracks
  • Poor maintenance of safety crossing gates, safety lights, and safety barriers
  • Traveling too fast because of inclement weather or to beat the train
  • Mechanical failure, brake failure
  • Visual obstructions, overgrown vegetation, broken or missing signs
  • Inadequate security
  • Inadequately trained train operators
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

In addition to the loss of life, railroad accidents often cause serious permanent injuries. These catastrophic injuries can include spinal cord injuries, head and brain injuries, burn injuries, paralysis, and loss of limbs.

Car, truck, and bus drivers and pedestrians have the responsibility of following the law and not trying to sneak past the crossbars after they’ve been lowered in an attempt to “beat the train.” A railroad company is responsible for maintaining the tracks and the train and for providing adequate warning systems and safety measures, such as safety gates and flashing lights, at all railway crossings. If a railroad company has been negligent in providing adequate warning systems, poor track maintenance, etc., you may be able to file a claim with the help of a railroad accident attorney to recover your losses including medical expenses, property damage, loss of current and future earnings, loss of future enjoyment, and pain and suffering.

Victims of railroads accidents are encouraged to talk to railroad attorneys as fast as possible. The state has labeled railroad as a common transport carrier. This makes railroad a strict entity in the transport industry. Even the slightest negligence therefore may lead to compensation. This is because railroad companies and employees are supposed to be extra careful when undertaking their daily activities. In the case of employees of Railroad Company, sometimes the best lawyer to seek is a Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA) attorney.

Limitations 

There is a set of period of time in which victims should file their complaints. After that period has elapsed, the case in question is said to be null and void. It is good for victims to talk to their lawyers without wasting any time. In case where the accident involved a government vehicle, it is even better for victims to talk to their lawyers without delay. This is because government has a shorter limitation than normal. This is to prevent a case against the state. When victims talk to railroads attorneys in earnest, it is possible for lawsuits to be prepared against the government.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a train accident and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact Baker & Zimmerman online or call (954) 509-1900 or toll free at (800) 886-LAWS. We offer free consultations and charge you only if we win your case.